Blockchain or Crypto — what’s the difference?

llustration: Alonso Guzmán Barone for Dipossum

Cryptocurrency is a highly volatile currency and Blockchain is the technology behind it. Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency launched in January 2009 and apparently invented/created by Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonym that still intrigues many as it is not known who this person really is, or maybe if it is a group of people and not a single individual.

Blockchain, in a nutshell, is a technology that allows to record information in a distributed way that makes it extremely hard to change, replicate or tamper with. In the last decade it has seen a number of supporters and detractors, as well as a number of good and not so good practical applications, that range from legit online trading to money laundering.

Applications in the digital world, where traceability, data integrity and security are key, have been enabled and their potential unleashed in recent years (including the proliferation of many other crypto currencies). Still, many applied uses of blockchain are yet to be discovered as organizations begin to build trust and reliability in the technology. Nonetheless, some current digital applications include: medical record retrieval and management, digital contractual agreements, insurance, media/music, copyright, financial transactions (including Cryptocurrency), cyber security, online shopping, supply chain traceability, Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Many of these have seen increased reliability and speed in the transactions involved in making them happen.

Putting it all together

Blockchain is a promising technology with, hopefully, many more applications being developed in the coming years. Estonia is a good example. Being the first 100% digital republic, it has embraced blockchain technology to enforce the integrity of government data and systems, which are a fundamental part of a fully functioning digital society.

Written by César Jerí

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In-depth bite-sized stories of digital transformation initiatives, capacities, mindsets, innovation & emerging technologies in societies across the world.

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